Law Firm Document Breach Reveals Rich Clients Stash Cash Offshore

By eWEEK Staff  |  Posted 2016-04-06 Print this article Print

DAILY VIDEO: Massive law firm hack reveals rich hiding money; Intel shakes up executive leadership in PCs, IoT; Brocade springs $1.2 billion for WiFi provider Ruckus Wireless; and there's more.

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Read more about the stories in today's news:


Today's topics include how the theft of 11.5 million documents from a Panamanian law firm reveals details about offshore financial accounts held by prominent politicians and wealthy private citizens, the news of a major executive leadership shakeup, Brocade Communications' purchase of Ruckus Wireless and a federal appeals court ruling overturns a patent infringement verdict against Google.

The alleged hack of Mossack Fonseca, a Panamanian law firm, has resulted in the leak of more than 11.5 million documents that detail the workings of offshore accounts held by many prominent politicians and wealthy private citizens.

The leak happened a year ago, when an unknown source contacted the Süddeutsche Zeitung, a German newspaper. The newspaper collaborated with about 400 other journalists to release the information—dubbed the "Panama Papers"—on April 3.

The leak underscores that law firms' lack of focus on cyber-security has put it legal jeopardy and exposed clients to business loss and risk. For more than half a decade, security experts have been warning law firms that they are a logical target of hackers and nation-state adversaries.

The dominoes from Intel's decision to hand control of the company's client computing, Internet of things and software businesses to a former Qualcomm executive are beginning to fall.

Two longtime Intel veterans—Kirk Skaugen, senior vice president and general manager of the Client Computing Group, and Doug Davis, senior vice president and general manager of the IoT Group—are both leaving the company, according to an email sent April 4.

Corporate vice president and general manager of Intel's Communications and Devices Group, Aicha Evans, left the company several days prior.

Brocade Communications Systems made a major move to expand its market reach April 4 by agreeing to spend $1.2 billion to purchase its Sunnyvale, Calif.-based neighbor Ruckus Wireless, a maker of smart WiFi networking equipment for enterprises and service providers.

The purchase price is net of cash and liquid assets owned by Ruckus, which amounts to about $300 million. Ruckus Wireless is a provider of powerful, carrier-grade WiFi networks for sports stadiums and other big public locations.

A three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has overturned a March 2014 jury verdict in Texas ordered Google to pay $85 million for violating a mobile notification patent belonging to SimpleAir, a technology licensing company.

In a 21-page ruling the judges held that the jury found infringement only because of the manner in which the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas had allowed certain critical terms in the patent to be incorrectly defined.


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